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Long distance provenances of jewelry (variscite & turquoise) along Atlantic Europe during the Neolithic (5th -3rd millenium) based on PIXE Analysis

Author(s): Guirec Querré ; Thomas Calligaro ; Serge Cassen ; Salvador Dominguez-Bella

Year: 2017

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Summary

The exceptional quality of the green lithic adornments (jade axes, beads) deposited in the large grave mounds from Brittany, France, constitute the most impressive funeral architecture of the Neolithic period in Western Europe. The highest density of callaïs jewelry occurs in the Carnac region with over 800 green beads and pendants found in 33 Neolithic sites. A research program based on the chemical analysis of archaeological artifacts and geological samples from European deposits using the PIXE technique (particle induced X-ray emission) was conducted in order to determine their provenance. A chemometric model has been established from the acquired geochemical database. It allowed to conclude that: (1) most artifacts were made of variscite, very few of turquoise; (2) all archaeological materials originated from the Iberian Peninsula; (3) from the half of fifth millennium until about 4000 BC, variscite was extracted from sources located in SW Spain (Encinasola, Huelva); (4) a procurement change occurred early in the 4th millennium, most variscite originating from NW Spain (Palazuelo, Zamora); (5) none of the Neolithic objects from Brittany were made of variscite from the well-known Mediterranean deposit (Gavà, Barcelona); and (6), during the Neolithic period, long-distance exchange of variscite-turquoise mostly developed along the Atlantic coast.


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Long distance provenances of jewelry (variscite & turquoise) along Atlantic Europe during the Neolithic (5th -3rd millenium) based on PIXE Analysis. Guirec Querré, Thomas Calligaro, Serge Cassen, Salvador Dominguez-Bella. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431415)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14863

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America